Crash Course: Dominating LinkedIn
By Daniel Murray
I am STOKED for you to meet today’s guest, Dave Gerhardt.
One of the top marketing minds in the nation, Dave is an author and brand builder who just gets LinkedIn.
As the Founder of Exit Five, he is building a private B2B marketing community to help B2B marketers level up!
Let’s here what Dave had to say on the Marketing Millennials Podcast and you’ll Exit today’s email with Five new tips on how to CRUSH LinkedIn (see what I did there).
1. Marketing in its simplest form:
“If you have a business, do you want more people to know about it or less people?
Most of us want more people to know (I hope ALL of us do).
If you simplify marketing, it’s about attracting an audience of people who might be a good fit to buy from you.
Now, ask yourself what makes you want to spend time with a person or business?
You want to spend time with people who are interesting, make you smarter, or give you a reason to laugh (laughter is the way to my heart).
As a founder, you can be using social media to do those things. But there’s founders who don’t want to do that.
But if I’m a founder, I want to compete. And one of the most underrated ways is to build a brand and a following on social media.
This has nothing to do with personal branding. This is thought leadership.
You’re living, breathing, and thinking about this business every day. You’re talking to partners, customers, and investors. You’re recruiting, hiring and have a point of view about what’s happening in your market.
All of that is amazing content to attract people to your business.
So often we jump right into marketing the product, but having this balance of both creates an advantage (YES.).
2. The secret sauce for LinkedIn:
I wouldn’t encourage everyone to create content on LinkedIn (👀).
(Yes, I just put an emoji in parentheses.)
Building an audience on LinkedIn only works if you actually have something to say.
You can’t just listen to a podcast and post quote images.
Take a picture of a book you’re reading, talk about something you learned. That’s how you grow on LinkedIn.
Now what’s the point of building an audience on LinkedIn?
To transfer your audience from LinkedIn to your own channels, whether that’s a website or email list.
But you have to be a founder who has a strong point of view on your market, the status quo, and what needs to change.
You need to have interesting experiences and things to say.
You can’t take a cookie cutter content template and on Monday post a quote and Tuesday post an image.
That’s the dressing. The meat is having a strong point of view.
3. Setting goals in content:
The first metric is the follower number. That’s the equivalent of website traffic. Do you have people there, are there eyeballs?
It’s not always a perfectly quantifiable spreadsheet to make decisions.
In the first 6 months all you should worry about is putting out relevant, educational, and entertaining content focusing on your area of expertise.
After 6 months if you have a following, but haven’t seen any new members from it, shift your focus.
Step one is building an audience.
Step two, prove the audience would sign up for the product.
Step three, prove the audience would use the product.
Step four, prove the audience would pay for the product.
You can’t half-ass LinkedIn (say it LOUDER). Ask yourself why you want to do it. Why is this the channel? Put some thought into that.
What could you do if you post regularly and create interesting content?
Could you build an audience about a certain topic? If you did that, what would the benefits be?
That’s how you come up with initial goals for social media. It’s not as easy as saying you want to grow from 0 to 5,000 followers.
4. How you can be the face of the company:
Let’s say you don’t have any executives interested in creating on LinkedIn.
As the marketing manager can you be the face of the company? 100%.
This is what I started to do at Drift. I was not even VP of marketing, I was a marketing manager.
It worked because I worked in marketing and we were selling marketing software to other people.
So I talked a lot about how we were using our own product and others at the company did the same.
This can still work even if you are not selling into an industry where you’re using the product every day.
Think of yourself as the tour guide for the company. Become the spokesperson.
Your execs don’t want to be on LinkedIn, but you can talk to them regularly and share their thoughts.
5. How to grow on LinkedIn:
It’s not about posting every day. Post often because the more you post, the quicker you learn.
Let’s say you posted for the last 15 days. Now you have 15 days of data.
Take it one week at a time and decide what content you’re going to create for the upcoming week based on what you know now.
The next thing you should do is comment on other people’s content to increase the reach of your page on the platform (get SCRAPPY).
Make a list of 100 people that are meaningful in your industry and follow them. Then request people to follow your company page.
Go outbound and get people that you want to follow your page.
Then funnel people to your website and email list. Now that you’re posting regularly, there is a reason for them to now follow you.
There is also a little bit of manual promotion and grunt work outside of just posting.
How can you tell more people about your LinkedIn page? Do you have automated emails going out?
If you get new email sign ups, update what’s in your footer. Add something like “follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn”.
(Selling your content is 50% of succeeding on social media!!)
Little things like that are what propel you to victory.”